MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In today’s Talking Baby, we are looking at infant massage. It sounds like a way to spoil your baby, but it turns out it offers a lot of health benefits as well.

CBS4 Morning Anchor Rhiannon Ally took her son, Roman, to a class at Miami Children’s Hospital and found out it can help with a variety of ailments.

“Infant massage is a therapy for moms and babies. So you can connect with baby,” said Registered Nurse Paola Garcia-Herreros.

Click here to watch Rhiannon Ally’s report

Lora brought her son, Bryce, to class to get out and meet other moms. She also noticed a big benefit.

“He was fussy at night time around 5 p.m. or 6 p.m., so we would do it at that time and it would calm him down,” said Lora.

That’s a problem most moms can relate to, which is why I brought my son Roman to class at Miami Children’s Hospital.

Researchers say infant massage can help baby sleep better, relive colic, gassiness and boost motor skills.

Garcia-Herreros showed us the basics. First, strip your baby down to their diaper. Do not use kitchen oil or any that contain petroleum. Use grape seed or coconut oil instead. Garcia-Herreros says as part of the bonding experience make eye contact with your baby and ask their permission.

Be firm, but very gentle and start massaging their body section by section. We started with the legs. With your hands grasping each leg, one above the other, stroke down from hip to foot with both hands rotating in opposite directions.

Garcia-Herreros said there’s not a right or wrong way to do it, but you do need to be careful.

“You don’t want to do something wrong to the joints.”

Next we learned techniques for the tummy. Garcia-Herreros said these moves help babies digestion, gassiness and colic.

“Now we’re going to do one called the hands of the clock. Go in the direction his digestion, which is clockwise. Put one hand at 11 and one at 5 and turn them,” she demonstrated.

With the arms, use a similar motion as the legs. And it’s important to pay attention to your baby’s hands through the whole massage.

“With the hands they give you cues. If they are retracting, pulling, arching, looking away, that means they’re not really connecting with you. He’s not really interested in that part,” said Garcia-Herreros.

So, you should move on to a different part. Garcia-Herreros showed us the back. She says use your fingers like a rake and stroke down baby’s back.

Garcia-Herreros says the amount of time you spend massaging baby will depend on how your baby is feeling.

If you’d like more information on Miami Childrens Hospital’s Infant Massage class, Click Here.

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